This is not a fairytale. And in case you’d thought that Kristen Stewart in the guise of Snow White could make you adore her, you are obviously deeply wronged. She doesn’t take her acting skills a teeny-weeny notch higher than that in ‘Twilight’, and what the insipid Bella can still do by hiding in Cullen’s shadow, as Princess Snow White Stewart is an unadulterated blend of insipid and boring. Period.
This adaptation of the popular fairy tale is a grim one. It doesn’t depict a glittery, shiny Disneyland. Instead, ‘Snow White and The Huntsman’ is a foray into the deep dark recesses of a forest reminiscent of the Dark Forest in ‘Harry Potter’. Screeching wolves and scary predators roam uninhibitedly through the forest, and the sobriquet of Prince Charming is a pure misnomer.
What director Rupert Sanders has done, is that he has redefined the contours of the ‘white’ fairytale with hues of black and grey. A sense of doom and darkness prevails all through the entire course of the film, and while necessarily anchored to the basic storyline, Sanders tweaks the definition of bad and transforms it into pure evil.
On that note, the evil witch can be introduced. Charlize Theron is exceptionally brilliant in the film. Her acting skills leave the viewer petrified at times, and just a grin is enough to provide one with a shudder down the spine at others. Chris Hemsworth as the handsome rustic rogue huntsman is talent wasted. Sam Claflin as the prince straddles territories which even he isn’t aware of. He is nothing more than a nobody in the film, and does nothing to steer the plot even a bit. And add to that the quintessential expressionless actor called Kristen Stewart. There is no ecstasy of love on her face, neither the trauma of her parents’ death. Kristen Stewart redefines the definitions of expressionless portrayal of a character, and takes it to a level which perhaps nobody can ever transcend. Kudos to the actor for the lack of expression on her face and the absence of facial nerves that she has so beautifully been endowed with!
To the evil step mother. In Sander’s version of ‘Snow White’, the evil witch is steeped in unmatched power. She literally sucks beauty and youth out of young women, and leaves them old and shrivelled up. Yes, that does remind one of the Dementors in ‘Harry Potter’. Just that Charlize Theron is not faceless and neither hooded – she is the only character in the entire film who shines steadily from beginning to end.
Sanders has delivered an unusually dark twist to the children’s fairy tale. However, despite the neat script and a mind-blower of a villain, the reason ‘Snow White’ doesn’t make it to the cut is Kristen Stewart. Any other actor might have done a better job in her place, it seems. Granted she has the classic looks that mirror pale white snow, but essaying the role of Snow White required a lot more than leather pants and boots. What she could have worked on is perhaps a bit of expression!
The film is a one-time watch – and that too – only because there’s that stunning woman called Charlize Theron in it.
Ratings: Two cheers for ‘Snow White and The Huntsman’!